CHICAGO — More than 40 people have been shot in Chicago since Saturday – six of which are children. Amidst another violent holiday weekend in Chicago, a group of grandparents said they are stepping up as best they can to stop the violence.
At the corner of Central and Madison – the group prays for change, vowing to lead the fight against violence in Chicago’s Austin community. Among the vocal was Erica Perkins.
“The police can’t help us with this. The mayor can’t help us with this. We have to help us with this,” Perkins said.
The group camped out Labor Day weekend in tents and various vehicles to reach people in need. Among the gatherers was organizer Jacqueline Reed.
“It’s community. It’s just ordinary people coming together taking care of each other,” Reed said.”The way you stop the violence is not by putting people in jail but going into their hearts.”
Despite their best efforts, violent crime plagued Chicago once again. Overnight, a 13-year-old boy was shot in the head while inside his home at 85th and Marquette. Two other children – 12 and 15 – were shot Saturday while attending a back-to-school event in East Garfield Park with their dad. In downtown Chicago, where community members voiced their concerns over a spike in violent crimes, a CTA bus driver was shot and seriously injured near Washington and North Wabash. Later in the evening, a driver was shot in a possible road rage incident near Ida B. Wells Drive and S Wabash.
The grandmothers say they will work to help those who are angry. Violence is not the answer, the group believes. Neither is bloodshed. But faith may be the way.
“Saying everything going to be alright and then showing them a better way,” ________ said. “Hallelujah. God is a better way.”